VenEconomy: Chávez’s “socialism”
is extinguishing Venezuela
Like the emperor in the fairy tale, the Chávez administration now stands naked before the world and is finding it increasingly difficult to cover up the disaster it has created with its ill-named 21st Century Socialism.
In the first 12 days of 2010, it has had to resort to a drastic devaluation of the currency, announced on Friday, January 8, despite its reluctance to take this step for more than four years. And now, on Tuesday, January 12, it has had to make the electricity debacle official with the joint announcement by the Ministry for Electrical Energy and the affiliates of the state-owned National Electricity Corporation of a “special electricity rationing plan that will cover the entire country and will involve suspensions of the service for a maximum of four hours” in each region.
The arguments offered by the electricity authorities are incredible, to say the least, in a country that has recently enjoyed a prolonged period of high oil prices. The Minister for Electrical Energy claims that the announced blackout to which they will subject all regions of Venezuela at discretion seeks to “generate a process of saving and rationing that will make it possible to keep the country operating,” as failure to do so would result in the water in Guri falling to levels that could put the country in a very serious situation at the end of February. He also explained, quite shamelessly, that they are “trying to avoid” Guri Reservoir, on which 70% of the country’s electricity generation depends, falling to critical levels and generating a “countrywide blackout.”
What is even more serious –and important- is not merely that this critical situation in the supply of electricity is the result of more than ten years of lack of investment and planning and of having totally abandoned a coherent, sustained maintenance program, but the fact that the government persists in making last-ditch efforts, refusing to rectify the pernicious way in which it has been handling the country.
The Chávez administration is responsible for not having made, during these two long terms during which it has been controlling the entire state apparatus, the necessary investments to develop the country’s electricity generation, transmission, and distribution capacity, or at least to maintain it at 1999 levels.
On that issue, it is worth mentioning statements given this Monday to El Nacional by José Manuel Aller, a professor at Simón Bolívar University with PhD in electrical engineering, when he maintains that “lack of investment in the national energy system over the past ten years amounts to approximately $20 billion and some 20,000 megawatts.”
Worse still is the fact that, instead of assuming its responsibility in the debacle into which it has plunged the sector, the government insists on passing the buck and saying that the situation is due to the atmospheric phenomenon, El Niño, or to the population’s irresponsible consumption of electricity, ridiculous arguments that hold no water when one sees just one photo of the broken down turbines at Guri or at Planta Centro Power Station or reads the reports warning of the gravity of the situation that different specialists have been submitting for years. Today, the people of Venezuela are paying the price by being condemned to darkness and to a deteriorating standard of living.
The fact of the matter is –now revealed in all its glory and impossible to hide- that the project that Chávez has wanted to implement by force and against the wishes of the vast majority of Venezuelans has only brought failure after failure in all areas of development that are vital for the population.
VenEconomy has been a Venezuela's leading specialized publisher on financial, political and economic data since 1982. VenEconomy's Points of View on the issues of the day, as seen by VenEconomy during the last week. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by VeneEconomy on 01/12/2010. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers .
All comments posted and published on Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of Petroleumworld. All comments expressed are private comments and do not necessary reflect the view of this website. All comments are posted and published without liability to Petroleumworld.
Fair use Notice: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
All works published by Petroleumworld are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.Petroleumworld has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Petroleumworld endorsed or sponsored by the originator.
Petroleumworld encourages persons to reproduce, reprint, or broadcast Petroleumworld articles provided that any such reproduction identify the original source, http://www.petroleumworld.com or else and it is done within the fair use as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments,
share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and
comments about this article, write to email@example.com
Petroleumworld News 01/13/2010
Copyright© 1999-2009 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.
We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source.Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors
Send this story to a friend
Any question or suggestions, please write to:
Best Viewed with IE 5.01+
Windows NT 4.0, '95, '98 and ME +/ 800x600 pixels